Monday, September 25

Cyber Attacks in Pakistan


Pakistani banks suffered a major loss after successive cyber attacks were posed on them. On October 27, 2018, the banks reported a theft of Rs.2.6 million. However, the worst part is that now the illegal markets are being fueled with the stolen data of the clients.

Noman, who is SI Global Solutions’ CEO, fears that is not an end rather is a beginning! The reason for this is that the Pakistani Banking System are using decades-old technology and resist to upgrade technologically.

The world today has shifted towards modern measures that are safe for both banks and the clients. Even if you go to India, the neighboring country, they ask you for your PIN to process payment when credit/debit card is used at restaurants or shopping malls.

In Pakistan, all you need to hold is a card: which allows cyber-crime to take place at much ease. Now, if this remains as it is then there is a lot of chance for a cybersecurity breach in the future, warned the CEO.

This week 150,000 payment cards data were up for sale in the illegal market. All the victims were the clients of major and leading banks of Pakistan. The data was mostly stolen from the ATM machines and now The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)’s cyber-security wing has assured that the culprits have been caught.

Luckily after 27th October, none of the banks have reported online breaching or cyber attacks.

ICT expert, Pervez Iftikhar said that data was stolen from ATM machines using skimming machines. These skimming devices are attached to ATM to breach the data.

Here are a few safety measures that the expert gave forth:

  • Use those ATM machines that do not have an attached skimming device. A skimming device looks like a card reader and at two main points of ATM, machine keypads are attached.
  • Make sure that the keypad is clean, they usually make it dusty so that they can get a hint of your PIN.
  • Put a hand over your keypad while you hit the PIN: there might be a micro-camera placed to read your PIN.
  • Do not share your card and PIN with others.
  • Never tell your PIN while you are on a call for opening a bank account. A reliable bank would always ask you to punch in the PIN rather than saying it loud.
  • Never tell your PIN at a call that says they are from NADRA, SBP, police, GOP or any other agency for that matter. No agency is out there requiring such sensitive information of yours.
  • Those who use Online Applications that use a PIN to proceed payments shall frequently change their PIN code.
  • Try using thumb impression enabled ATM machines.

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